This one goes out to the sports staff at the Chronically Horrible and Monty Mosher, a man who always either mispells my name in the results or faced with a seemingly impossible unScottish series of vowels just gives in and omits it all together.
We marathoners are a sensitive lot. It's a Sisyphean task. We toil all year under the most outrageous conditions; sleet, hail, rain, snow - the USPS has nothing on us. Many of us are family people so we often do our miles in the dark at antisocial hours before the kids get up or after they go to bed. We don't want medals (well, a nice, understated finishers' one perhpas), we don't want glory nor we want too much attention.
All we want is some Goddamn respect.
I don't call myself a marathoner, I'm just a guy who runs marathons and yes, I'm running the full at the Bluenose International Marathon (BNIM). I shouldn't have to even qualify that as 'full' marathon as a marathon is, by definition, a set distance, but I digress.
This isn't somthing I do on a whim. Oh, I think I'll do a marathon next week. This takes planning.
Let me tell you what it means to be a guy who 'just' runs marathons. The last time I checked my training log I had just shy of 1600 km run since January 1. That's 1000 miles. I've been thinking about this event since Christmas last year. Every run and every missed donut is connected with this goal even if only tangentially or as a mere whisper at the back of my mind.
I am not alone. The mileage may vary but every man Jack (and woman Jill) who lines up on Sackville Street at five-to-eight on Sunday has a similar story. Everyone from the grizzled veteran to the excited-yet-scared first-timer has a tale of dark and cold and ice and unfriendly dogs and impossible, self-supported training runs that took them to the far corners of HRM, sometimes all on the same day!
So Monty, please do us all the favour of refraining from the tautology of the "5km marathoner". Such a thing doesn't exist.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no marathon snob. I appreciate, understand and laud the effort and achievement of all 10 000 runners this weekend. It's not "only" the 5 K. If that's all you have in you then all power's to you and you have my respect. Five kilometers or forty-two, neither are distances to be undertaken with alacrity, one is not worth more or less than the other and congratulations on both taking up and beating the challenge.
However Monty, just don't let your quest for inclusiveness get away from yourself. We guys and gals who do marathons run all year in the metaphorical and literal dark and this weekend is our only chance to come out into the light at home. So please, no medals, no glory. No NBC-style video of us running through the park in slo-mo cut to inspiring instrumental music. Just a little nomenclaturial respect.
On behalf of the 350 registered marathon participants on Sunday, I thank both for your time and your attention to this matter.